ROOKIE RECORD-O-ME­TER

Which fresh­man marks will stand the test of time? Which are ripe to be bro­ken? Some of these stan­dards are down­right oth­er­wordly

The Hockey News - - BUZZ - BY MATT LARKIN

OVER WHEN HELL FREEZES

TEEMU SE­LANNE

76 GOALS

No player has even reached the 70-goal plateau since Se­lanne and Alexan­der Mogilny did it 25 years ago, and the few who’ve cracked 60 weren’t rook­ies. Only four rook­ies have even scored

50 times in a sea­son. To imag­ine a first-year NHLer scor­ing 77 or more goals… we have a bet­ter chance of find­ing in­tel­li­gent life on an­other planet be­fore that hap­pens. Se­ri­ously.

DARE TO DREAM

AUS­TON MATTHEWS FOUR GOALS IN FIRST GAME Hey, if a player could do it as re­cently as last sea­son, it’s pos­si­ble. Then again, we’re talk­ing about break­ing a record, not equalling it. See­ing a rookie score five would be fall-off-our-chairs sur­pris­ing.

ONE FOR THE HOGS

ALEX OVECHKIN 425 SHOTS Matthews’ 279 shots last sea­son were the fourth-most ever by a rookie and he still trailed Ovechkin by 146. Wow. We’ve only seen 14 sea­sons in league his­tory with a player top­ping 400 shots. Still, that Ovechkin did it in this era tells us it can be done again, al­beit by an oth­er­worldly tal­ent.

YOU’RE JOK­ING, RIGHT?

TONY ES­POS­ITO 15 SHUTOUTS No goalie, let alone rookie goalie, has recorded double-digit donuts in four of the past five sea­sons. Only one stop­per, rookie or not, has got­ten within two shutouts of Tony O’s sin­gle-sea­son mark since he set it in 1969-70. For­get close: no one has got­ten close to be­ing close in al­most half a cen­tury. Add in that Es­pos­ito was a rookie and you get a record vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to beat.

CALLIN’ ON DAHLIN

LARRY MUR­PHY 76 POINTS AS A D-MAN In the past 20 years, only Dion Pha­neuf, Tyler My­ers, Shayne Gostis­be­here and Zach Weresnki have chal­lenged for 50-point cam­paigns as rookie blue­lin­ers, so 76 points looks mirac­u­lous. Then again, prospect Ras­mus Dahlin might be the most hyped blue­liner on the of­fen­sive side of the puck in, well, 20 years.

WHY NOT?

TERRY SAWCHUK 44 WINS Matt Mur­ray won 32 times de­spite start­ing only 47 games as a rookie last year. What if he’d started 65? A stud goalie prospect start­ing the ma­jor­ity of a great team’s games would be the right for­mula to produce a 45-win sea­son. Tough to do but far from im­pos­si­ble.

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